The Q Brothers'

Funk It Up About Nothin'

January 21

February 13, 2011

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

a "hip-hoptation" of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
created and directed by GQ and JQ

About the Producers

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) offers a broad spectrum of theatrical experiences year-round, engaging and entertaining audiences from all walks of life and from around the world. Since moving to its state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier in 1999, CST has garnered great acclaim under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, including three Laurence Olivier Awards and more than 30 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Next season, Chicago Shakespeare will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The 38-play canon of William Shakespeare forms the core of CST’s work and subscription series, complemented by other dramatic works—from traditional classical theatre to new classics that resonate with Shakespeare’s timeless insights into the human condition. Through a 48-week season encompassing more than 600 performances, Chicago Shakespeare leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors. CST also contributes to an international community of creative exchange through its World’s Stage Series, which affords Chicago audiences prime opportunities to experience the cultural and artistic traditions of some of the world’s iconic theatre troupes as well as sending some of CST’s best works abroad. Chicago Shakespeare is committed to making theatre an expansive, ever-changing and lifelong relationship. For our family audiences, CST Family presents abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts and world-premiere musical theatre created with families in mind. Our education outreach program, Team Shakespeare, has served over 1 million students and teachers throughout the Midwest, introducing the Bard’s legacy to a new generation of theatregoers.

Named Best Presenter 2010 by the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA), Merrigong Theatre Company manages one of Australia’s busiest, most dynamic,regional venues—Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in Wollongong, about an hour south of Sydney. Merrigong is also a vibrant theatre company in its own right—producing, presenting and touring exciting contemporary theatre and supporting the development of a wide range of independent theatre-makers. The company presents a diverse annual season of theatre, dance and children’s programming, offering some 30 different productions. Under Artistic Director / CEO, Simon Hinton, in 2006 Merrigong began producing full-scale productions in-house for its subscription season and in 2008 began to regularly tour work to other venues around the country. In 2009, Merrigong undertook its first Australian tour of an overseas production, Kahlil Ashanti’s US hit comedy Basic Training, which toured to 13 venues across Australia. That tour and the subsequent 2010 tour of Canadian Rick Miller’s MacHomer, were both produced in association with Merrigong’s London-based producing partner, Richard Jordan Productions. The company is delighted to again be working with Richard, co-producing this new touring version of Funk It Up About Nothin’ with the acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Richard Jordan Productions Ltd
Richard Jordan is a British-based theatre producer and the managing director of Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, a busy London and international award-winning production and theatre general management company. He has produced or co-produced over one hundred and thirty productions and presented plays and musicals in over 15 countries, enjoying associations with many of the world's leading producing theatres and organisations.

With the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, he has previously produced Itsoseng written and performed by Omphile Molusi. Itsoseng, a co-production with the South Africa's Baxter Theatre, has been presented around the world and was the winner of the 2010 US Black Alliance Award for Best Actor (non-resident). Richard's other New York City/USA productions include: Impressionism; MacHomer; Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About a Girl he Once Loved; Shylock; Once and For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are so Shut Up and Listen!; Dickens' Women; Victor Spinetti's Very Private Diary; In the Continuum; Rum and Vodka; Goodness; Nine Parts of Desire; Hamlet (solo); an oak tree; East 10th Street; Die Roten Punkte; Bussmann's Holiday; Basic Training, and most recently on Broadway the Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League award nominated A Behanding in Spokane.

His past productions have been the recipient of a number of awards including: The Outer Critics Circle Award; The Lucille Lortel Award; The John Gassner Award for Best New American Play; Two Helen Hayes Awards; Four Obie Awards; Six Fringe First Awards; The Herald Angel Award; The Carol Tambor Award; Two Total Theatre Awards; The Spirit of the Fringe Award; The Icelandic Mask Theatre Award; The Tap Award; and The Adelaide Festival Award.

In 2000 Richard Jordan became the first recipient of the TIF/Society of London Theatre Producers Award. He was nominated in 2008 for the Theatrical Managers Association/Stage Award for Achievement in UK Regional Theatre. He has been listed, for five years, in the UK's Stage Newspaper Top 100 British Theatre Professionals, and is the only producer to be named in the 2008 and 2009 UK editions of the Who's Who of Britain's Business Elite: Young Business Leaders. Richard was a finalist in the British Council's first ever Young performing Arts Entrepreneur Award. In 2010 he became one of the new entries invited for on-going inclusion in A and C & Black's annual publication of Who's Who. He is an Associate Artist of London's leading new writing theatre, The Bush, an Associate of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and a production consultant to Teatros Artes, Brazil's largest chain of independently owned theatres. Richard is the international producing partner of Merrigong Theatre Company at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in Wollongong, one of Australia's busiest and most dynamic regional venues who are co-producers with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd of Funk it up About Nothin' and its forthcoming Australian national tour.

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